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Community Engagement

Overview

What is Community Engagement?

Community engagement (CE) at McMaster University is defined as:

  • valuing the expert knowledge and passion that members of the community (both local and global) have about their communities and issues affecting them
  • fostering ongoing collaboration between University and community partners on how to better understand and consider the issues identified as priorities by local and global communities
  • performing research, teaching and service with community members and partners for the public good within the local or global community.

SUPPORTING THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMMUNITY-CAMPUS PARTNERSHIPS

Our staff are partnership brokers.  With a wide range of expertise, we are a resource for the development of community-campus partnerships in Hamilton.

We can help you move your ideas into action by creating opportunities to build relationships, share knowledge, and to ultimately make a difference through your work.  We work to develop and support multi-stakeholder collaboration because a variety of perspectives, skills, and approaches are required to address the complex challenges facing our communities.

WHAT IS A PARTNERSHIP BROKER?

Partnership brokering involves individuals or organizations working in an intermediary role with partners to strengthen the partnering process and ensure that the collaboration between stakeholders achieves its shared goals and intended impact.

Partnership brokers operate in a range of styles (often as ‘facilitators’ or ‘coordinators’).  Some operate as ‘internal’ to a partnership (i.e., working from within one of the partner organizations) and others as ‘external’ to a partnership (i.e., as independent professionals working on behalf of all partners).

Adapted from Partnership Brokers Association, 2010

WHY DO WE NEED PARTNERSHIP BROKERS?

Observation of, and research into, a wide range of partnerships over many years suggested that where there was one (or more than one) person active in the intermediary role, partnerships tended to have deeper engagement, greater focus, and more impact.  It is increasingly clear that the intermediating role is critical – and so the idea (and the terminology) of partnership ‘brokering’ is used today.

Adapted from Partnership Brokers Association, 2010

WE DEVELOP PARTNERSHIPS IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS

LIAISING Connect With Us

We can help make connections between you and internal or external partners as well as share information about your event/initiative with our networks.

Submit a community-campus event to share in our newsletter.  We can also provide you with proactive support to connect and form relationships.

SPONSORING Learn More

We provide small grants to support new or developing community-campus partnerships.

If you already have a community and campus partner present and are looking to develop your partnership, apply for a Community-Campus Catalyst Grant.

ADVISING Connect With Us

We meet with you to consult and advise on a community-campus project or initiative and help to build capacity at an individual level.  Think of us as a critical friend!

If you have an idea with partnership potential that aligns with our mandate, connect with us to set up a meeting to follow-up with your request.  We can provide feedback on ideas, potential partners, and proposals.

FACILITATING Connect With Us

We help build capacity for programs or organizations, where our office can play a small or large role in your project or initiative.

We can convene a meeting to connect potential partners, design a workshop to facilitate a dialogue, or link your initiative to one of our office’s existing programs.